Cushing named to national team of the week

Sun Belt Tournament MVP adds another honor

November 9, 2010 · Athletic Communications

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Middle Tennessee junior goalkeeper Rebecca Cushing was named to the National Team of the Week by soccer website TopDrawerSoccer.com for games played Nov. 1-8. The TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week is chosen after consulting match reports from all Division I matches played in the preceding week.

Cushing, a Lone Tree, Colo., native, was tabbed the Sun Belt Tournament Most Valuable Player after helping to lead the Blue Raiders to the conference tournament title and NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

She allowed just two goals in 310 minutes for a 0.58 goals-against average, while adding 14 saves and an 87.5 save percentage during the Sun Belt Tournament. She registered her seventh solo shutout of the campaign as Middle Tennessee tied four-time defending league champion and No. 15 Denver in the title match and then clinched the tournament crown with a 3-2 penalty kick victory.

Cushing, who also was named to the All-Sun Belt Tournament Team, recorded her most important saves in the penalty kick situations, stopping Pioneer attempts and giving her team a chance to advance by making its own. She also was a key factor in the semifinal game against host Western Kentucky, which also was decided by penalty kicks. She punched the Lady Toppers' final attempt high over the crossbar, lifting the Blue Raiders into the championship for the first time in school history.

Middle Tennessee enters its first NCAA Tournament with a remarkable run of allowing a goal or less per game in 15 consecutive matches, dating back to mid-September at the Duke Nike Classic in Durham, N.C. The Blue Raiders currently are on a nine-game unbeaten streak and own a 13-8-2 record entering the 64-team field.

Cushing and her MT teammates learned of their NCAA Tournament fate Monday during the NCAA Selection Show live on ESPNU. The Blue Raiders will play their first game at 3:30 p.m. Central at No. 15 Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla.

TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week
GK: Rebecca Cushing, Middle Tennessee

D: Melinda Mercado, Oklahoma State
D: Meghan Lewis, West Virginia
M: Ali Schaefer, Penn State
M: Jessica Ringwood, BYU
M: Vendula Strnadova, Memphis
F: Alexis Garcia, Dayton
F: Paige Maxwell, Ohio State
F: Sydney Leroux, UCLA
F: Sarah Hagen, Milwaukee
F: Cate Tisinger, James Madison

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